Libraries, South Carolina


The nation’s first public lending library was organized in South Carolina in 1698 and in full operation and recognized by the state legislature by 1700. Dr. Thomas Bray, an Anglican priest, saw it as his mission to create libraries throughout the parishes of England and America and thus helped organize the Parsonage Provincial Library, connected with Saint Philip’s Church in Charleston. In 1748 the Charles Towne Library Society formed – the country’s third oldest private library – and from that point libraries and library societies, both public and private, were established all over the state as people settled throughout the corners of South Carolina and desired a place to study the world’s history, cultures, and tales.

Map of Libraries Landmarks